6 Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to Pesticides

6 Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to Pesticides


Pesticides are designed to control the nuisance and damage caused by pests, and have contributed to reducing disease and increasing food production worldwide. But the availability and widespread use of pesticides also has the potential to pose unexpected risks, both directly and indirectly, to our health.

In the US, over 4.5 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year, with 75% used in agriculture and 25% in homes and gardens. The prevalence and widespread use of pesticides has increased our exposure to a variety of chemicals, while the long-term health implications are still being studied.

Pesticides affect different people differently. Children may be more sensitive to some pesticides than adults. Compared to adults, they breathe in more air and eat more food relative to their body size, increasing their exposure. When they play on floors or lawns or put objects in their mouths, they increase their chance of exposure to pesticides used in yards or lawns. Also, their developing bodies may not break down some chemicals as effectively as adults.

People of any age with asthma or other chronic diseases may be more likely than healthy individuals to get sick after pesticide exposure. Some individuals are also more sensitive to the odor or other irritant effects of certain pesticides.

But no matter what their individual sensitivities, people in the greatest danger of pesticide illness are those whose exposure is highest, such as workers who mix or apply pesticides. People who use pesticides in their homes may also be overexposed and become ill, especially if they do not carefully follow the directions on the product label. People living near agricultural fields are more likely than urban residents to be exposed to farm chemicals (although their exposure may not necessarily be high enough to cause harmful effects).

What can you do to minimize pesticide exposure?

1. Buy organic and locally grown fruit and vegetables.

Buying organic, in-season produce from your local market is the best assurance of pesticide-free produce. To identify fruit grown organically, look at the little sticker – the number should be five digits and start with “9” (e.g. 94223). If you are on a limited budget, look for organic choices for the produce your family eats the most. National surveys have also shown that fruits and vegetables from farmers’ markets contain less pesticides even if they’re not organic.

2. Wash fruits and vegetables before eating.

Commercial vegetable and fruit washes are available which are formulated to remove chemical residue from produce. Examples are Environné and Vitanet, available online or at your local health food stores and some supermarkets. You can also make your own produce wash using a very diluted solution of mild dish-washing detergent (1 tsp detergent per gallon, or 4 liters, water).
For grapes, strawberries, green beans, and leafy vegetables, swirl the foods in a dilute solution of dish detergent and water at room temperature for 5 to 10 seconds, then rinse with slightly warm water. For other fruits and vegetables, use a soft brush to scrub the food with the solution for about 5 to 10 seconds, then rinse with slightly warm water.

3. Know which fruits and vegetables have higher levels of pesticide residue.

Much of the health risks associated with pesticide residues on produce are concentrated in a relatively small number of fruits and vegetables. By knowing which fruits and vegetables pose the highest risks, you can take adequate precaution, such as washing the food more carefully, peeling the skin on some fruit, or avoiding commercial sources. To learn which foods have higher pesticide residues, see our page Pesticides and Produce.

4. Grow your own produce.

A backyard garden plot as small as 400 sq. ft. can provide much of the required produce for a family of four. Organic methods can replace the need for pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and tending the garden is a healthy activity for children. Planting perennial crops like asparagus, blueberries and strawberries will provide crops for years with very little work. Even homegrown produce should be washed before eating, however, since pesticides are sprayed aerially in some regions of the country, and other wind-blown contaminants may reach your garden. To learn more, see our pages on Backyard Vegetable Gardening, Natural Garden Pest Control.

5. Use non-toxic methods for controlling insects in the home and garden.

Using chemical-based commercial insect pest control treatments may introduce chemicals to your home which pose more of a threat than the insects they are designed to kill. EPA spokesman Dale Kemery recommends that parents try other pest-control tactics before resorting to pesticide use in the home or garden. There are effective, non-toxic methods for controlling insect problems in the home such as diatomaceous earth, which will kill a broad range of common indoor insects without posing any hazard to your family or pets.

To learn more about safe methods for controlling insect pests, see our page on Natural Insect Pest Control.

In the garden, growing healthy plants using organic methods is the best pest deterrent, and there are a variety of natural pest control methods such as beneficial insects, non-toxic remedies, traps and barriers. To learn more, see our page Natural Garden Pest Control.

6. Have a ‘no shoes’ policy in your home.

When visitors to your home walk across a lawn that has been treated with chemical fertilizers and herbicides, residue from these chemicals may be tracked into your home. In some instances, these residues may last for years in carpeting and on floor surfaces. The simple practice of leaving shoes at the door will minimize this risk and reduce your home cleaning chores. You can provide inexpensive house slippers for guests who are unused to going shoeless indoors.

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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides: Maryse F. Bouchard, PhD, David C. Bellinger, PhD, Robert O. Wright, MD, MPH, Marc G. Weisskopf, PhD

Health Hazards of Pesticides – Rupali Das, MD, MPH, California Department of Health Services, Michael O’Malley, MD, MPH, University of California, Davis, Laura Styles, MPH, Public Health Institute

To learn about non-toxic pest control methods for your home, see Natural Insect Pest Control.
For natural and non-toxic methods for your garden, see Natural Garden Pest Control.
To learn how to avoid using lawn care chemicals, see Natural Lawn Care.
To purchase non-toxic pest control products, see Shop/Natural pest Control.

About the Author

Greg Seaman
Originally from Long Island, NY, Greg Seaman founded Eartheasy in 2000 out of concern for the environment and a desire to help others live more sustainably. As Editor, Greg combines his upbringing in the cities of New York, Boston and San Francisco with the contrast of 31 years of living ‘off-grid’ to give us a balanced perspective on sustainable living. Greg spends his free time gardening, working on his home and building a wooden sailboat with hand tools.


Pest Control Hawthorn East

Searching Pest Control Hawthorn East? Fast Pest Control can be your best bet. Our pest controllers are is available in your services round the clock. Our pest controllers are expert in ant control, bed bugs control, spider control, wasp control, flea control, rat control, cockroach control, termite control, rodent control. In short, we can handle all kinds of flying & crawling insects and pests in your domestic & commercial properties in Hawthorn East.

Call 1800 339 712 for the same day booking. We are the local pest control company offering guaranteed pest control at the most afforable prices.

Why is Professional Pest Control Important?

It is almost impossible to keep flies and ants away from food, especially when you have children at home throwing away stuff here and there. The food crumbs that look normal otherwise can make for a whole week or month’s source of food for these creatures. Wherever the prey goes, the hunter follows and therefore the presence of these ants and flies bring spiders in their pursuit.

Our closets are filled with clothes and shoes, half of which we do not even remember and they keep lying in the closets unused forever, providing a comfortable home for silverfish whose feeding habits can ruin papers and clothes. The damp baskets containing laundry is another favorite place for silverfish to breed.

The professional pest controllers are well aware of the hiding places of the pests and know the effective treatments to remove and control them. Plus, their regular check-ups make sure that there is no recurrence of the pest in the home. Call us today for Pest Control Hawthorn East and rid of your of these nasty unwanted creatures.

Pest Control Hawthorn East

Rat control and bat control Hawthorn East

Rat infestation and bat infestation is the problem that most factory owners face as these creatures find their homes in warehouses especially containing raw materials and ruining the inventory. They become particularly dangerous if the raw material consists of food items as it can lead to serious health hazards and regulatory problems. Rat urine can cause kidney and liver damage that can be fatal. So is the case with diseases caused by bats. You cannot put your customer’s life and hard-earned reputation at stake like this, can you? Hence, rat control and bat control is a serious matter which has to be sorted sooner. So, don’t delay, go for pest control Hawthorn East today!!

Pest Control Hawthorn East

Wasp control Hawthorn East

Wasp infestation is a problem faced in homes with gardens or areas with greenery. A wasp sting can hurt and cause swelling and Inflammation that takes days to go away. As their nest gets bigger, the number of wasps will inhabit it increases, sometimes making it impossible to go anywhere near the area.

Sometimes even a neighboring business or poor waste control in the local area can be a reason of pest outbreak and you would never be able to know unless you take services from a licensed pest controller who can identify the right source of pest infestation and work on the treatment respectively for the wasp control.

Zero Tolerance for pests

Hawthorn East is a city full of residential and commercial properties that can easily get affected by the pest. However, the numbers of ways to get rid of these pests are as many as the number of these species.

These creatures such as ants, spiders, fleas, cockroaches, rodents etc can wreak havoc in your everyday routine and not to forget the germs and illnesses that come along, causing danger to your children, pets, customer, and workers. Therefore, a timely pest inspection, identification, prevention, and control is what we aim to provide for you with our zero-tolerance for pests services that are professional, effective, efficient, affordable and safe for your family and pets.

Pest Control Hawthorn East

Our Services Include:

  • Pest inspection
  • Pest elimination and pest treatment
  • Mosquito pest control, Wasp pest control
  • Pest control spiders, Fly pest control, Pest control flies
  • Termite control, Termite repair, Termite fumigation, Treatment for termites, Termite pest inspection
  • Pest eradication and Pest guard
  • Cockroach exterminator and Cockroach exterminating
  • Bat control, Spider removal, Moth control, Bed bug pesticide
  • Domestic pest control
  • Restaurant pest control
  • Ants control, Ant killer
  • Exterminator services
  • Mice control, Rat control
  • Pest control squirrels, Tick extermination, Bee pest control
  • Pest fumigation, woodworm fumigation
  • Bed bug elimination
  • Rodent repellent
  • Bird control
  • Exterminating cockroaches and Residential exterminator
  • Bedbugs killer and Snake control
  • Scorpion control, silverfish control
  • Emergency pest control service Hawthorn East
  • Same day pest control Hawthorn East

Our Pest Control Process

Pest Inspection and Treatment Services Hawthorn East

Pest Inspection: Firstly, our pest control team will do the thorough inspection of your place to determine the extent of the infestation. Our professionals understand the problem and they decide the right method for pest removal.

Pest Treatment: After the inspection, the team uses the effective chemical for the pest elimination from your place. The chemical we use are eco-friendly have no side effect on the human.

Regular Follow up: After the successful pest extermination, we also schedule a revisit to your place. The professionals do a post inspection after the treatment to make sure there is no reoccurrence of the pests.

Our Pest Control Clients in Hawthorn East

Fast Pest Control Hawthorn East offers Domestic pest control and Commercial pest control. The list of our clients in Hawthorn East include:

  • Homes
  • Flats
  • Offices
  • Industrial spaces
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Medical centers
  • Child care centers
  • Shopping Centres

Why Choose Fast Pest Control Hawthorn East?

Ants Pest Control Services Hawthorn East

  • 24 hr emergency pest control services
  • Inspection for pest infestation
  • Preventive treatments
  • Pest eradication in commercial and residential areas through the use of best practices
  • Pest control services provided by a team of licensed experts with years of experience dealing with serious pest control problems
  • Use of Eco-friendly pest control medicines, sprays, electronic devices, and traps
  • Minimum disruption
  • Children and pet-friendly processes
  • Guaranteed pest removal
  • Follow up checkup

Our customer service is available just a dial away on our toll-free number 1800 339 712 where you can call to describe your problem, get a free quote and schedule a meeting. No matter how old, big or serious the problem, we are at your service!

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6 Ways to Chemically Kill a Tree

Follow these tips for a safe and effective tree removal

ThoughtCo / Nusha Ashjaee

  • B.S., Forest Resource Management, University of Georgia

Homeowners usually welcome trees on their property. But some trees are invasive species that, over time, can take over a garden. Other trees may overwhelm your home, digging roots into the foundation or limiting access to light.

Whatever the reason, if you’re ready to kill a tree, you’ll need to review your options and make an informed choice about the best method for your situation. If you’re concerned about chemicals or are removing a tree in an area where you grow fruits or vegetables, you might choose to physically remove the tree. If you’re comfortable using chemical herbicide, however, a number of options are available.

Chemical herbicides are effective and relatively low cost. On the other hand, they involve using potentially harmful substances in your own backyard. There are ways to mitigate the risk, but you might prefer to avoid chemicals altogether. In that case, you have two options for tree removal: cutting down or starving the tree.

Cutting Down a Tree

If you’re removing a very large tree or are uncomfortable using a chainsaw, you can hire someone to take down your tree. Many people, however, simply cut down their own trees. Once the tree has been cut to a stump, you’ll need to grind the stump to the ground.

Unfortunately, cutting and grinding might not be enough to kill your tree. In some cases, trees will continue to sprout from the stump. If this happens, you’ll need to systematically look for new sprouts and cut them down whenever they appear. By cutting the sprouts, you deny the roots the energy they need to continue to grow.

If neither grinding the stump nor cutting sprouts is enough to kill your tree, you’ll have to dig down and painstakingly remove the roots from the soil. The notorious buckthorn bush/tree is an example of a species that can be killed only by completely removing the roots.

Starving a Tree

The bark of a tree is a system for transporting soil nutrients and moisture to the branches and leaves. With some trees, fully removing the bark around the circumference of the tree’s trunk will effectively starve it to death. This technique, called «girdling,» often is effective, but it isn’t foolproof. In some cases, trees can bypass or «jump» the girdle.

To get the best results, remove all layers of bark in a circle around the tree, cutting about 1.5 inches deep with a hatchet or ax. The girdle will need to be about 2 inches wide to kill a small tree and up to 8 inches wide for a large tree.    

Chemically Killing a Tree

Herbicides can kill trees and, properly applied, be safe for the environment. The most environmentally friendly options involve applying herbicide to a specific area of the tree. In some cases, however, the only viable option is to use herbicidal spray. There are five major types of herbicides, only some of which are rated for home or crop use. Triclopyr amine and triclopyr ester are growth regulator-type herbicides, while glyphosate and imazapyr kill plants by interfering with the synthesis of plant proteins. Aminopyralid is primarily effective on legumes such as kudzu and may not be appropriate for your needs. Here are six ways to chemically kill a tree:

  • Cut Surface Treatments: This technique involves creating a pathway through the bark so that herbicide can be introduced into the plant’s vascular tissue. Start by making a series of downward cuts around the circumference of the tree with an ax or hatchet, leaving the frill (cut section of bark) connected to the tree. Immediately apply the selected herbicide into the cuts. Avoid spring applications when sap flowing from the wound will prevent good absorption.
  • Injection Treatments: Use specialized tree injection equipment to administer a specific amount of herbicide into the tree when the cut is made. Treatments are effective when injections are made every 2 to 6 inches around the tree.   For best results, treat trees 1.5 inches or more in diameter at chest height. Injection is often handled by a tree removal company because it requires an investment in equipment.
  • Stump Treatments: After cutting a tree down, you can minimize the possibility of regrowth by immediately treating the freshly cut surface with herbicide to prevent sprouting. On larger trees, treat only the outer 2 to 3 inches, including the cambium layer, of the stump (the internal heartwood of the tree is already dead). For trees 3 inches or less in diameter, treat the entire cut surface.  
  • Basal Bark Treatments: Apply herbicide to the lower 12 to 18 inches of the tree trunk (on the bark) from early spring to mid-fall.   Some species can be treated during winter. Use herbicide spray mixed with oil until the bark is saturated. The low-volatile ester formulations are the only oil-soluble products registered for this use. This method is effective on trees of all sizes.
  • Foliage Treatments: Foliar spraying is a common method of applying herbicides to brush up to 15 feet tall. Make applications from early summer to late September, depending on the choice of herbicide. Treatments are least effective during very hot weather and when trees are under severe water stress.
  • Soil Treatments: Certain soil treatments applied evenly to the soil surface can move into the root zone of targeted plants after ample rainfall or overhead moisture. Banding (also called lacing or streaking) applies concentrated solution to the soil in a line or band spaced every 2 to 4 feet. You can use this type of application to kill large numbers of trees.  

Important Tips

Before starting a tree removal project, learn how to use herbicides safely and legally. Herbicide treatments of roots or soil (or sprayed herbicides) can kill vegetation unintentionally.


How to Keep Your Workplace Rodent-Free

Jagoda Matejczuk/Getty Images

Pests in the workplace have been linked with asthma, rabies, and Lyme disease. One of the most common workplace pests, rodents (including rats, mice, and squirrels), are responsible for the spread of several viruses and parasites. By eliminating their sources of food, water, and shelter, you can stress the pests and create an environment where they don’t want to stay.

How do you know if your workplace has rodents, and what steps can you take to make sure they leave and do not come back?

Signs of Infestations

The most common sign of a rodent infestation is actually seeing a mouse or rat, alive or dead. Other than actually seeing a rodent on the premises, the next most common sign that rodents have invaded the worksite is seeing their droppings. These will be found near food sources in cupboards, drawers or bins where food is stored, overhead in attics or drop ceilings, or on pathways such as wall studs or beams. A good place to look in the desk drawers of employees who bring in and keep food in their desks. Mice and rats love to find these often-overlooked areas!

Gnawed or nibbled food and/or its packaging is another sign of rodents, as is gnawing around holes or gaps in the wood of the building, indicating that some rodent has made its way into the workplace.

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Prevention and Control

Once you have confirmed that rodents are in your workplace, you can take the following steps to make the uninvited guests leave.


How Dangerous Are the Thorns on a Hawthorn Tree?

How Dangerous Are the Thorns on a Hawthorn Tree?

Photos by R A Kearton/Moment/GettyImages

Related Articles

With their plentiful dagger-sharp thorns, it’s not hard to understand how the hawthorn tree got its name. Depending on the variety of hawthorn, the thorns on the trees’ branches, twigs and even trunks can be straight or curved. Some thorns can measure up to four inches long. Not only can the thorns cause puncture wounds, there have been cases in which they have have been responsible for bacterial infections and allergic reactions.


In folklore, the story goes that Paul Bunyan used a hawthorn tree as a back scratcher. Some believe the crown of thorns worn by Christ was made from the hawthorn. There are numerous types of hawthorns. The black hawthorn, also called the Douglas hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii) has straight to slightly curved 1-inch thorns, while the river hawthorn (Crataegus rivularis) has thorns that grow up to 1 1/2 inches. The Columbia Hawthorn’s (Crataegus columbiana) thorns are even longer, measuring 2 to 4 inches.

Thorn Wound Dangers

With their sharpness and size, a hawthorn tree’s thorns can cause serious wounds. When pruning, heavy gloves and goggles should be worn. There have been cases of eye scratches from the thorns that have led to blindness. Contact with thorns can also cause puncture wounds in the skin. If you are wounded by the thorns you should get a tetanus shot if you have not had one in the last 10 years.

Allergic Reactions

Not only can a scratch or puncture wound from a thorn cause pain, some people can be allergic to hawthorn thorns. Those who are allergic may have intense pain that lasts for several days and swelling around the injury. Antihistamines can help with allergic reactions, but if the injury does not improve within a few days, a doctor should be consulted.

Bacterial Infections

Plant pathogens on the thorn have also caused infections in those with hawthorn puncture wounds. In one case, a child developed septic arthritis due to the bacteria Curtobacterium after being punctured by a coxspur hawthorn thorn. Another child was infected with the bacteria Pantoea agglomerans and Enterobacter cloacae after injury from a thorn that lodged under her skin.


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